'Neck has nose for news

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

Among members of the local media, Andrew McBride is known as one of the most pleasant, enthusiastic and articulate Calgary Roughnecks players to interview.

It turns out, maybe he was just sucking up -- especially to the TV folks.

"Definitely," joked the 23-year defensive sparkplug, who's in his first year of broadcast journalism studies at SAIT.

"I've made lots of connections talking to guys at the papers, people on the radio, TV guys and they've all been very helpful with hints and ways I can learn things so I'm definitely going to tap that resource.

"Like most people say, 'It's not what you know, it's who you know.' "

With the rising popularity of the National Lacrosse League and increased exposure in the media -- especially TV -- McBride has no shortage of future colleagues to quiz for advice.

McBride and the Roughnecks open the 2006 NLL season Friday night against the expansion Edmonton Rush at the Saddledome in a game that will be broadcast live on Sportsnet West.

The 6-ft., 185-lb. Ladner, B.C., product said the world of broadcast and film seemed like a natural fit for him.

"I've always been interested in news, not just sports," said McBride. "But, ultimately, I'd like to get into documentaries and filmmaking. We get to do a little bit of stuff with a film program and TV production class, just learning the technical aspects and stuff."

Of course, before he can make his name as the next Michael Moore, McBride said he will likely have to do his time in the trenches of a newsroom cutting his teeth.

"There's not a lot of money in the beginning if you want to make documentaries," said McBride.

"You have to get a base in the news industry and then hopefully you can trick somebody into giving you some cash and get out there and do it that way."

When he graduates, McBride will have to try and find a local gig where he can balance being a member of the media and a pro athlete and all the potential dilemmas that could come with that.

"I think I can make it work, balancing both," said McBride. "I signed a two-year contract here in Calgary, so I'll be here for awhile. I love the city and hopefully I can make something work out here on the TV end in Calgary or the surrounding area so I can keep calling Calgary home."

QUICK STICKS: Jesse Phillips, the Roughnecks all-time penalty minutes leader, was placed on IR and will not play Friday due to various aches and pains. Jason Wulder moves to the active roster in his spot.


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